Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quotes from Ophuls, Pt. 3

The drama of modern politics is a tragedy in which the hero, his supposed enlightenment being but another name for hubris, has become the author of his own impending doom. 54

The inexorable tendency of all forms of polity based on liberal premises, as Hobbes himself made explicit, is to compensate for the decline in civic virtue of the individual by increasing the political power of the state – the story of modern politics in a nutshell. 55

The so-called American revolution was, in fact, a rebellion, reluctantly undertaken only after much brooding and many efforts to obtain a redress of grievances. Thus it was fought not to overturn colonial society but to overthrow Royal authority. Nor did the American aristocracy ever abandon its cultural and philosophical allegiance to the mother country or to European civilization in general. In fact, the Founding Fathers exemplified (and were seen by their European contemporaries as exemplifying) the best of the Enlightenment civilization, combining philosophical learning and high principles derived from natural religion with practical reason and political skill. 58

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